X-Panels are a cutting-edge solution for artists who seek innovation in their work surfaces. These panels are designed to provide a superior artistic experience, while also ensuring archival quality and longevity in museums and personal collections. With their sleek design, X-Panels offer warp and moisture resistance unlike traditional wood panels.
The age-old problem with wood panels has always been their tendency to warp. This is the reason why cradled panels have become popular in the art world. However, larger panels can become quite heavy due to the need for larger frames to counteract the warping. X-Panels use a unique technology to address this issue, making them a more efficient and practical choice for artists.
X-Panels were inspired by the construction of the creator's former aerobatic airplane, which combined composites such as carbon fiber and fiberglass with thin plywood to create incredibly strong structural components. Since art panels have far fewer demands on them than aerobatic airplanes, they should last forever.
At just 3/8 inches thick or less, X-Panels are compact and easy to transport, making them a convenient choice for artists on the go. The slim design also provides a wider range of framing options compared to traditional cradled panels.
The process of layering wood and composite materials has been used for many years in industries such as aviation and marine, and X-Panels make use of this technology to provide added strength, stiffness, and waterproofing to the panel. These features make X-Panels a truly innovative and unique option for artists.
X-Panels were created by artist Tom Applegate. To learn more about his work, visit tomapplegatearts.com
Portrait of Oscar Fishman by Tom Applegate
The Series 1 panels are 3/8 inches thick and are constructed with Luan plywood. These semi-hollow panels are strong and lightweight. A structural foam is added to the core on larger sizes. The panels are pre-sealed with an oil based sealer on the back and a non toxic water based sealer on the painting surface to reduce the effects of moisture in the environment and mediums used on the panel. These panels are ready to have canvas,linen, paper, or any other substrate you desire to work on attached. They also can be primed and painted on directly. The sealer is dry and will be receptive to oil, acrylic, watercolor and any other primers. Suitable for studio or plein air paintingbut especially useful for plein air paintin due to their light weight.
The Series 2 panels are 3/8 inches thick and are constructed with baltic birch plywood. These semi-hollow panels are strong and lightweight but about twice the weight of the series 1 panels. A structural foam is added to the core on larger sizes. The panels are pre-sealed with a non-toxic marine grade water based sealer on both surfaces to reduce the effects of moisture in the environment and mediums used on the panel. These panels are ready to have canvas,linen, paper, or any other substrate you desire to work on attached. They also can be primed and painted on directly. The sealer is dry and will be receptive to oil, acrylic, watercolor and any other primers. Suitable for studio or plein air paintingbut especially useful for plein air paintin due to their light weight.
The Supper Light panels are 1/8 inch thick and are constructed with aircraft grade birch plywood sandwiching a composite core making them strong and lightweight. The panels are pre-sealed with a non toxic water based sealer to reduce the effects of moisture in the environment and mediums used on the panel. The composite core creates a waterproof barrier between the front and back of the panel. These panels are ready to have canvas,linen paper, or any other substrate you desire to work on attached. They also can be primed and painted on directly. The sealer is dry and will be receptive to oil, acrylic, watercolor and any other primers. Suitable for studio or plein air painting.
For The Artist
X-Panels offer artists a new alternative to traditional cradled panels, stretched canvas, and warped boards. Their advantages include light weight, reduced warping, increased framing options, and slim profiles for easier storage, transport, and shipping. With a thickness of 1/8 to 3/8 inch, they occupy less studio space and can be stored in a smaller area. The panels' strength protects them from damage during shipping, which also requires a thinner package. Since they don't have a thick cradle, framing options become more plentiful. Clients can handle the artwork more easily and appreciate the quality artwork on a quality panel.
X-Panels are a joy to paint on offering a firm surface that feels strong and gives the artist a more precision feel. Panels can be prepared like other panels. You can simply prime them, or attach primed canvas, linen or paper. One thing to note is if very wet glue or gesso is used it can expand the surface it is applied to causing a temporary warp. The surfaces are sealed by X-Panels to minimizes this issue but very watery glues can still cause a warp. Both oil and acrylic can be used.
The composite core on some of the panel provides both structural support and a waterproof barrier between front and back. The panel is additionally treated with a non-toxic marine sealer to enhance its waterproof properties.
I think you will enjoy your choice of creating on an X-Panels.
For The Collector
X-Panels are not just made for artists, but for collectors too. In fact the development of X-Panels had the collector in mind as much or more than the artist. The fact is that an artist completes a piece of art on a canvas, panel or other surface and then hangs it, stores it or sells it, then moves on to the next project. The artwork has been born and now hopefully will have a long life. It is out of the artist's mind and into the collectors hands. Not only must the paint or pencil last, but critically what the art is created on must last. Preferably hundreds of years. X-Panels were created to last those hundreds of years. If the artist who created a painting on an X-Panel never becomes famous, at least the collectors great grandchildren will inherit an antique piece of art that they can pass onto their great grandchildren.
Something that I think is sometimes overlooked in the art world is the quality of materials used to create a piece of art. Some artists use quality materials which are reflected in the end product, while other artists pride themselves on using the cheapest materials possible. Which is also reflected in the end product. Materials meaning paints, mediums, fabric, gesso and supports to name a few. If you are thinking of buying a work that is multiple thousands of dollars, DO NOT ever hesitate to inquire about the materials used in the work. There are artists out there selling paintings for thousands of dollars using the cheapest student grade paints they can find. Or worse! And if they are skimping on paint quality, you can imagine about the rest of their materials. You just can't make a Rolls Royce out of a Ford Fiesta.
People paint on many things, none perfect, but some far better than others. By far the most common thing is stretched canvas. But after that come panels of various kinds and paper depending on the medium. When it comes to panels the most popular panel is the cradled panel. This is a thin piece of plywood attached to a thicker wood frame. This is the old school panel and they can become quite clunky, but have served artists for years. The wood frames only purpose is to minimise warping of the painting surface. They don't guarantee it, and as the panels get larger they can become quite heavy and cumbersome.
X-Panels are designed for the next generation of artists. They are a thin, strong, archival and warp resistant alternative for artists who care about the materials they use. They are very strong compared to the other options. The framing options are increased greatly and they are easy to store or transport. All these attributes make the structure of a work safe and desirable to the collector.
Questions from collectors and other buyers of art are welcome.